In an uncharacteristic move for anyone involved in the current administration, Trump’s senior trade advisor, Peter Navarro, apologized to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for insulting him.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Navarro said his word choice on a Sunday news show went too far.
Peter Navarro had said on Sunday there was a “special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy” with Mr. Trump “and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. That’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Navarro said he had been trying to use strong words to back Mr. Trump’s trade stance but went too far.
“In conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate and basically lost the power of that message,” he said. “I own that, that was my mistake, those were my words.”
In an escalation of saber rattling, the president and his administration waded into the offensive as they threatened to levy tariffs on Canadian goods, particularly aluminum and steel.
Trudeau and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, made appearances on American television saying the administration applying Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to NAFTA was “insulting” because it necessarily calls Canada a national security threat to the United States.
While Trump is still on the attack against a baffled and insulted Canada, — in Singapore on Tuesday, Trump said the people of Canada would pay for Trudeau’s measured remarks at a press conference following the G-7 summit last week — it’s encouraging to see one of his officials recognizing and apologizing for the fact that he went too far.